Psychosocial moderators of polygenic risk for suicidal ideation: Results from a 7-year population-based, prospective cohort study of U.S. veterans

Peter J. Na, Flavio De Angelis, Brandon Nichter, Frank R. Wendt, John H. Krystal, Steven M. Southwick, Daniel F. Levey, Joel Gelernter, Renato Polimanti, Robert H. Pietrzak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Polygenic risk scores (PRS) may help inform the etiology of suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In this study, we evaluated whether a suicidality PRS derived from a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) of suicidality from the UK Biobank (N = 122,935) predicted suicidal ideation (SI) in a 7-year population-based, prospective cohort of European-American US veterans (N = 1326). Results revealed that 8.8% (n = 115) of veterans developed new-onset SI, 4.0% (n = 52) had chronic SI, 3.4% (n = 31) had remitted SI, and 83.8% (n = 1128) denied SI over the study period. Suicidality PRSstandardized was positively associated with chronic SI (relative risk ratio [RRR] = 4.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.01–20.48) and new-onset SI (RRR = 2.97, 95%CI = 1.22–7.23), and negatively associated with remitted SI (RRR = 0.12, 95% CI = 0.02–0.60). Among veterans with higher suicidality PRS, those with higher baseline dispositional optimism had a lower likelihood of chronic SI (RRR = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.49–0.91) and higher likelihood of remitted SI (RRR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.18–3.31). Among veterans with higher suicidality PRS, those with higher baseline levels of social support were less likely to develop new-onset SI (RRR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.92–0.99). These interaction effects were enriched for genes implicated in neuron recognition and development, while the PRS main effect was enriched for genes involved in mannosylation. Collectively, results of this study suggest that suicidality PRS is linked prospectively to symptomatic courses of SI, and that dispositional optimism and social support moderate these associations. Interventions targeting these modifiable psychosocial factors may help mitigate risk of SI in veterans with high polygenic risk for suicidality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1068-1074
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Volume27
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

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